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The Team Victory Skeleton

Last week, we explored the Science Fiction skeleton. This week, we explore the building blocks for the Team Victory skeleton.

The overall story problem is an underdog who needs to win or achieve something. 


The reader asks, "Will they win?"

 Usually they should. If they don't, they have to still feel really good about it: almost was good enough. Usually the other coach or team needs to be taught a lesson.

These are mostly action and plot-centered tales that make people feel good. These stories are usually about athletic events: tennis, baseball, football, soccer, cheer leading, skiing, etc.

People like to root for the little guy. Like the con or heist, there is typically an assembling of a team. The coach or leader of the team is considered the protagonist. The
 coach often has something to prove or to regain his winning streak.

In the Team Victory story, the antagonist heads up the opposition. There can be additional antagonistic forces at play, but the antagonist is the owner, sponsor, star, or coach of the opposing team.

External Conflict scenes are all about the competition. These are the games or events that lead up to the final face-off. They will win some and lose some. These are the cheerleading competitions, the dance recitals, the school debates, or the spelling bees. The climax is the final confrontation, win or lose.

Antagonist Conflict scenes, depending on the points of view, are the exchanges between the two coaches or team leaders. They follow the opposing team coach as he fuels the flames of competition or the opposing boxer who is being blackmailed into throwing the match. The antagonist’s POV can be explored in this story. These are the scenes where we see him urging his team toward victory or where the head coach or player brags about his prowess. It can also be scenes where the antagonist and protagonist face each other alone to exchange threats.

Interpersonal Conflict scenes reveal how the individual team members succeed, fail, fight, and work at crossed purposes. The underdog shows his talent. The friends and foes manipulate and undermine and cheat to win. The opposing team member throws a game on purpose to help the other team.

Internal Conflict scenes show the coach wondering why he is being punished this way. We find out about his drinking habit. Or we find out why the head cheerleader is so insecure. We find out about the fight he threw or the relationship he destroyed by his need to compete. We watch him struggle between what is right and wrong. How far is she willing to compromise her integrity to win? She struggles with the abusive parent or the overachieving sibling. Maybe he wants his wife back or to win the respect of his father or his child. Maybe he needs to overcome low self-esteem or repay a gambling debt.

Next week, we explore Thriller and Suspense subgenres.

Check out the newly released Team Victory Build A Plot Workbook available in print and e-book.

For more about how to craft plots using conflict check out, Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of conflict available in print and e-book and check out the free tools and information about the series on my website.

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